Getting to know Laura Ferguson, Founder of The Light Salon
Some things just fit together perfectly. Avocado + Toast. Red wine + an open fire. Monica + Chandler. When a serendipitous moment introduced us to the co-founder of The Light Salon, Laura Ferguson, we knew another perfect match had been discovered. To celebrate, this month we are delighted to announce an Ancient + Brave x The Light Salon collaboration to give you exclusive discounts, giveaways and insight into our brands.
We are two brands who believe in beauty from within – in everyday rituals that enable us to be the healthiest versions of ourselves. The Light Salon are pioneers in LED, a form of skincare that works at a cellular level, with your body processing the light according to its individual needs on any given day. Ancient+Brave create responsibly sourced, pure and potent supplements that are tailored to your specific lifestyle, diet and health goals. This partnership is where targeted LED meets targeted nutrition. The result? A healthier, more radiant complexion, and a more balanced mind and body.
Loved by Vogue, Victoria Beckham and Alexa Chung, we couldn’t wait to sit down with one of The Light Salon’s co-founders to chat all things light, health and more.
Laura, The Light Salon is such an innovative and stunning brand. How did it all start + what brought you into the wellness space?
Thank you so much! It all began with my personal discovery of LED as a treatment for acne, which I’d struggled with since my teens. At the time, I was managing a luxury spa, so I immediately introduced light therapy there and it really took off. I saw all kinds of skin concerns being improved by the light, but more surprising than that was the effect it was having on my clients’ mood. The feeling of being under the lights is like nothing else – it’s so deeply relaxing that you’re almost set into a kind of trance. As well as stimulating collagen, LED lowers cortisol and raises serotonin, so it’s an amazing tool for wellbeing.
My friend Hannah and I became totally hooked, and a few years later, we decided to take the plunge and make this our business. Back then, LED therapy was only available in the most exclusive settings. I’d spent some time living in Australia and saw it being used in a far more accessible way. Meanwhile, back in the UK, Hannah had noticed a growing trend for ‘social grooming’. We wanted to make LED accessible to the masses, in the same way that blow-dry and nail bars were. So that’s where the idea for The Light Salon came from. We opened our first salon in Harvey Nichols in 2015, and I’m pleased to say it’s been growing in popularity ever since.
I’m so excited to experience a treatment in one of the London salons. As someone pretty new to LED therapy, what can I expect to happen?
I’m so excited for you! First of all, our therapists are all amazing and so welcoming. They’ll chat with you and look at your skin in order to tailor the treatment to your needs. If you have our Signature Light plus hydrogel, your skin will be cleansed with our Enzymatic Cleanser, which is a super gentle exfoliant we devised specifically for use with LED. This is followed by our Hydrogel Mask, and then you’ll go under the lights. When the lights come on, they’re quite bright, and kind of hypnotic, actually. You can choose to either have your eyes covered with shields or keep your eyes closed and uncovered. The treatment time in-salon is precisely 13 minutes 40 seconds. It might feel longer because the feeling of deep relaxation kicks in pretty quickly. You’ll then receive a lifting massage followed by our Hydrating Peptide Serum. You can expect an instant glow that will build over the following days.
We’re big fans of holistic health and deep nourishment here at Ancient + Brave and I’m sure it’s no surprise that we love how using LED can play a big part in boosting collagen - how does it work?
Yep, we’re all looking for a collagen boost and LED is so effective for this. It’s all down to using precision LED wavelengths. Combined with red 633nm, our near-infrared 830nm wavelengths are clinically proven to boost collagen and elastin. These wavelengths are absorbed deeply, around 8-10mm into the dermis, and they stimulate your skin’s responses into producing collagen and elastin, which firms the skin with repeated use.
Are there different uses for the different light spectrums? Can they be overused?
You’ll see lots of brands talking about a broad spectrum of light colours, but in fact, most of these are ineffective at making a visible difference to your skin. The red and near-infrared wavelengths I just mentioned (red 633nm and near-infrared 830nm) are the most clinically proven to firm the skin. That’s why these are the two wavelengths we offer in our salons and all our at-home devices. Blue 415nm light also deserves a mention for its anti-bacterial properties. This is best delivered in a professional setting, and if you want to break a cycle of problematic, acne-prone skin, blue light is amazing.
And you can’t really overuse LED, as but to achieve the best results long term, we recommend a 10-minute treatment three to five times a week. Our devices are set to time out after this dose, so it couldn’t be easier really. All you need is clean skin and to carve out that time for yourself in the day, which is a good habit to take up, we think.
A lot of the challenges with health today is down to the fast-paced, highly stressful lives many of us find ourselves in. We love the concept of supporting your skin health and ageing well but also going beyond that too - can the different light spectrums you use help with your mood and sleep?
Absolutely. It might seem counter-intuitive that bright lights can induce sleep but because LED raises melatonin, your sleep hormone, it’s an amazing way to help you drift into a deep sleep. Many people use our devices last thing at night for this exact reason.
Supporting people's health at different stages of their life is a key driver here at Ancient + Brave, women, in particular, go through many changes. How can LED support this?
At The Light Salon, we like to think of LED as a loyal friend that supports your body’s journey through life because your cells absorb and process the light according to your body's individual needs on any given period of time.
LED helps with skin concerns such as breakouts –which can happen at any time in our lives, due to fluctuating hormones– as well as loss of elasticity, and dryness, but it can also help to reduce period pain, ease muscular and joint pain, regulate sleep patterns and, crucially, calm the mind. If you think about the stages our bodies can go through – pregnancy, post-partum, pre-menopause, menopause, post-menopause – the hormonal shifts are huge. They disrupt our entire being. Self-care rituals such as LED light therapy can help us to achieve more balance, whilst also caring for our circulatory, nervous and immune systems.
Part of your brand story is creating clinically + medically proven products that cater for busy schedules within an attainable budget, which honestly sounds ideal. Having the benefits of a Light Salon treatment in the comfort of your own home sounds so luxurious, yet simple to do too. How did this come about?
The development of our at-home devices was led by our customers, who were telling us they wished they could top up on their LED treatments at home between appointments, and while travelling. We launched the Boost Face Mask in 2019, and have since followed this with a Body Patch, Bib and Collar. All of our devices use the exact same wavelengths we use in our salons, so they’re just as powerful in transforming your skin, and they allow you to truly make LED a part of your skincare and wellness ritual at home.
We’ve spoken a lot about the importance of consistency when taking supplements to get the best results. Is there an advantage of having LED therapy on a regular basis too?
Yes, in fact we often use supplements as a comparison to explain the importance of consistency in LED therapy. It’s the cumulative effect of LED over time that makes a lasting difference. One session will boost cellular activity, but multiple sessions will offer visible results. This is because your skin cells absorb and react to light differently from day to day. All Boost devices deliver 30 milliwatts per cm2 of light per treatment and we recommend using our devices three to five times a week, to provide the cumulative dose of light required to achieve long-term changes in your skin.
A big part of our Brave Lifestyle is keeping active - can you use LED for sports recovery or injury? What would be the best product for this?
Yes you can. In fact, we developed our Boost Body Patch specifically with this in mind. LED is amazing at helping to speed up injury recovery time and to relieve muscle pain and spasm because it has anti-inflammatory properties and boosts cellular renewal. The Patch also has a warmth that’s really soothing for aching muscles and joints.
We love a daily ritual and think having them is a key aspect to living life feeling well - do you have a morning + night time ritual?
I find the ideal time for me to use my Boost devices is in the evenings. Once our daughter’s in bed, we tend to potter or work until 9.30ish and finish the day with an episode of something we’re watching - which always takes place wearing my Boost LED Face Mask and Patch (on my décolletage), followed by a little read if it’s not too late.
A nighttime treatment is such an enjoyable moment and really helps me too wind down.
What’s your top 5 wellness tips you love for glowing skin and feeling great?
Well obviously number one is LED! I’ve been using the technology for 16 years+ now, and never tire of the skin benefits and how it makes me feel.
Other than that I love magnesium and rhodiola rosea supplements at bedtime, bone broth and beetroot juice in the morning, and I’m addicted to Bottlebrush Ferments - both the Kimchi and White Sauerkraut, which includes dill and horseradish and is as delicious with fish and meat as it is with cheese!
I went through my menopause quite early and I find Fermented Vegetables really help to support my stomach and in turn support my brain.
We’ve also recently moved to the coast and I love nothing more than a swim in the sea with Miller and Ben - it’s amazing the joy it gives to us all and we instantly smile when we hit the water.
Eggs and kimchi on sourdough and, recently introduced, A+B Coffee + Collagen!
I also enjoy a cup of Inspired Collagyn for the Brain, for memory support and energy levels.
Place to holiday?
Anywhere in Europe and Australia (my husband Ben is Australian and our daughter is Aussie mad), although Deal and Rye have been the perfect holiday destinations this summer!
Way to relax?
Walking, swimming in the sea, glass of wine and a good chat with close friends
Dose of nature?
Walking on the cliffs, swimming in the sea
I prefer lunch out and my favourite restaurant at the moment is Sargasso in Margate
Any meal time with family and friends